Distilled Spirits Timelines

The history of liquor is a fascinating one. Its origins are unclear. But most historians believe people first distilled alcohol around the 13th century AD. Speculations about possible earlier development are just that… speculations.

history of liquor
Albertus Magnus – the first to describe how to distill alcohol

Wine can develop with no human intervention. Beer can brew with little human involvement. But distilling alcohol requires an understanding of specific physical processes. It also requires advanced materials and technology. So people ‘developed’ distillation rather than ‘discovered’ it.


There is considerable variation in the meaning of the term ‘liquor.’ And its meaning has changed over time. People now generally use it in referring to distilled spirits. These include whiskey, rum, vodka, gin, tequila and other beverages that are distilled.

The History of Liquor